All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

The Primary Moment

Last week, my multi-talented eldest daughter, Hadassah performed magnificently in the school production of Fiddler On The Roof. She stole every scene that she was in, playing Yenta as though the part had been written for her.

You don't need to take only my word for it. Just ask anyone else who witnessed her extraordinary performance. She was simply - and I don't care if I'm biased - magnificent. She had the voice, the moves, the whole caboodle down to a tee.

We laughed and sang along with the familiar music. It was a lovely evening.

Then tonight, we had the Siyum, otherwise known as the Primary School prom. This was her leaving ceremony and the last time she will appear on stage, in front of parents, with the children she has spent her life with since the age of four. It was a very special and prestigious moment for all concerned.

And yes, I was emotional and sad. It was as though, through my daughter, another part of my life was coming to a close. It makes no sense really, because I hardly knew the other kids on the stage, but I felt that, in my role of proxy, I too was moving on, into uncharted waters.

Endings are always sad. The memories that she has built up will stay with her for the rest of her life and these are special occasions because they don't happen more than once. She will Please G-d graduate many more times, but there is something to be said about leaving your primary school friends behind and going on into a new school. Maybe I feel it more because, for the first time, my daughter will be experiencing the same educational key stages that I work with throughout the academic year.

For the first time, she will be learning the kind of things that I teach other children of her age. She will be entering my realm.

It's more than that. It's the feeling that some of her innocence - the type you can only maintain in primary school will evaporate as she enters the harder, sharper edges of the secondary stage in her education. In short, my little girl is growing up - and this evening, as she stood on that stage in the hall, I realised that my life, like hers, will never be the same again.

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